"You may not have noticed - St. John's Cross" Old Town Tip by JessH

Old Town, Edinburgh: 14 reviews and 23 photos

  St. John's Cross in Canongate, Edinburgh
by JessH
 
  • St. John's Cross in Canongate, Edinburgh - Edinburgh
      St. John's Cross in Canongate, Edinburgh
    by JessH
  • St. John's Cross in Canongate, Edinburgh - Edinburgh
      St. John's Cross in Canongate, Edinburgh
    by JessH
 

Usually, when visiting historic cities, we're all told "don't forget to look up!" at the gorgeous buildings, spires and architecture.

But in some places - like Edinburgh - you should also remember to look down at the ground...

This cross in the Canongate marks the site of the original standing cross of St. John, which was on the boundary ("border") between Edinburgh and the Burgh of Canongate. This estate was owned in the Middle Ages by the Knights of the Order of St John and also Holyrood Abbey.

Until 1856 the Canongate was not merely a street, but the name of the surrounding burgh, separate from Edinburgh and not enclosed by the Flodden Wall.

Charles I, on his first visit to Edinburgh in 1633, was ceremonially welcomed at this boundary by the Lord Provost, whom he promptly knighted. It is now marked by a Maltese Cross formed by cobbles set into the street outside No. 196.

The cross was set in place in 1987.

The Canongate is actually the same street as the Royal Mile, but changes its name at the intersection of St. Mary's Street.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 29, 2011
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